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2018-19 Big Ten Basketball Opponents Announced

The Drive to 24 was derailed for a year, but we are still seeking that 24th Big Ten Championship.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon the Big Ten Conference announced the home and away opponents for the 2018-19 Big Ten season. This will be the first 10-game Big Ten season, making the regular season championship a little more meaningful. I will ALWAYS take two more games against Big Ten opponents than buy games against Directional State:

The biggest note, aside from the 20 games as opposed to 18, is that Purdue is back to playing Indiana both in West Lafayette and in Bloomington. This is as God intended and the new scheduling rules from the conference guarantee it in perpetuity. We no long have to worry about the Hoosiers being a single play, as happened 7 times since 2002 and as recently as last season.

As for getting that 24th Big Ten championship, Purdue did not get many breaks. Purdue’s only game against Wisconsin is in Madison and even though the Badgers missed the tournament for the first time in nearly two decades our loss there this season cost us the title. Michigan is also probably the early league favorite and we play them just once, in Ann Arbor.

The rest of the Big Ten season is very hard to call as we won’t know a lot until the NBA early entry list is finalized. Carsen Edwards will likely be back, and probably be the preseason Confernce Player of the Year. replacing the production of four seniors will not be easy, however. Purdue clearly needs others to step up, including redshirted players Aaron Wheeler and Sasha Stefanovic.

The good news is that many other teams lose a lot too. Miles Bridges, Tony Carr, Keita Bates-Diop, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Mo Wagner are already gone and with agents. Ethan Happ might or might not return. It makes for an interesting year where even a Purdue team obviously in transition can compete.

Here is what we know of the 2018-19 schedule so far (31 games maximum)

Likely home game for 4th Charleston Classic game - much like one of our Battle 4 Atlantis games was a home game this past year vs. Chicago State.

November 15-17: Charleston Classic, Charleston, SC (Alabama, Appalachian State, Ball State, Davidson, Northeastern, Wichita State, Virginia Tech)

Late November/Early December: ACC/Big Ten Challenge (likely road game)

December 15: vs. Notre Dame (Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

20 Big Ten Games

This leaves us with a grand total of six games where we have no idea who the opponent is, and two could be out of our hands with the potential 4th Charleston game at home and the Gavitt Games (a likely home game if we’re in it).